Summary: Comparing Israel’s release from captivity with the soul set free.
Intro: being a writer I always wonder where someone got their inspiration when they wrote a poem, song or sermon. There is a popular song among the youth with these lines,
I’m trading my sorrow, I’m trading my pain,
I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord. As I was reading Psalms 126–it seems to me that the person who wrote this song may have gotten their inspiration here. Israel is being freed from Babylonian captivity. It is over-whelming for the Jewish nation to realize we are going home. Captivity is over, rebuilding is ahead, and harvest times again. I find some similarities to the Christian life in these verses.
The Life That Is Restored
Psalms 126:1-6, 127:1
*one of the most important messages of the Church should be the ability of Jesus Christ to restore lives, rebuild broken things, give back life and bring back joy. Israel spent many years in captivity, in this world today some have been bound by things or lost without Christ for weeks, months and years. But our message is the same, it doesn’t matter how long you have been bound, it only takes a second for Jesus to restore your life. The church isn’t a group of saints called to minister to sinners, as much as it is a group of restored people ministering Christ in a broken and fallen world.
Here is our message:
I. Captivity is Over–v.1 one thing about being set free by the Lord, is you never have to go back into bondage, you never have to be a slave again. It seemed like a dream for the Jewish nation to be free. Maybe today you are bound by things, maybe sin has a stronghold in your life, today let Jesus break the chains, let Him turn your captivity. Maybe the world has told you once an addict always an addict, but God wants you to have a brand new life and become a brand new man. When God changes your heart He not only gives you a new life, but a new name. It doesn’t matter what name or label the world has tried to put on you, you are a new creation in Jesus Christ, old things are behind you, new things are ahead of you, you have been born again.
II. Joy is Restored–v.2–there was laughing and singing as the slaves were set free. Maybe you are discouraged or depressed with your life, maybe the world has stolen your song, and all the joy you once had is gone. Today is your day of freedom, freedom from the past, freedom from yesterday’s pain and sorrow, today is a brand new day, and joy has come to your morning. Your tears, your sorrow, will be changed in one glorious moment, when Jesus sets you free. Joy doesn’t come in a bottle, it doesn’t come in a pill–that is trying to smother your discontent in life. Joy is knowing where you are going, and knowing who is going with you. Jesus will never leave you, never forsake you. You may have been in bondage for years, maybe some family and friends have given up on you, it doesn’t matter, because the joy of the Lord will become your strength.
III. Rebuilding is Ahead–127:1–God is going to rebuild things that have been torn down. The enemy has destroyed some things by sin and rebellion, but God will build it all back even stronger than it has ever been.
We cannot rebuild our lives without the Lord’s help, He is the builder, He shapes us, and makes us into what He would have us to be.
The people of God needed their cities to be rebuilt, but more importantly for the one who accepts Jesus as Saviour, they need their life rebuilt. God will give you new opportunities, new relationships, he will turn things around. When you see all the broken walls and destroyed places, you may think it could never work out, it could never be right, but Jesus doesn’t see the destruction, he sees the destiny of your life. He doesn’t sit around and thing what might have been, but rejoices in what will be.
IV. Ministry Restored-v.5-6 sowing in tears, going forth, bearing precious seed. God doesn’t just deliver you, but sends you into harvest. Salvation isn’t an end in itself, but a new beginning. The work isn’t over in you, it has just begun.
Once you receive Christ, it is now your mission to share Christ, to throw out the seeds of the gospel, to weep over those that are still bound and lost in this world. There are some people who say to me, I have made such a mess of my life God could never use me in ministry. But people in this world don’t need the message from the mistake free, but the forgiven. To whom much is forgiven, much is required. The farther you have run from God the nearer you must walk with God.